All lines and totals subject to change
Heading into the last month of regular season baseball, the New York Yankees currently sit four and a half games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. On Tuesday night, the two clubs will square off in game two of a three-game series with Masahiro Tanaka facing Trevor Richards on the mound. Tampa Bay took game one of the series on Monday night when Tyler Glasnow absolutely silenced the Yankee offense and ace pitcher Gerrit Cole continued to struggle, losing his second game in a row.
It’s safe to say that with the recent pitching struggles and continued absence of superstars Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, betting on the Yankees is no longer the lock it was a short time ago, especially not against the Rays who have won seven of the eight meetings between the two sides on the season. Even though the Yankees are favored Tuesday night at -150 on DraftKings, my advice is to stay away from the moneyline on both sides for this game.
The Rays have had the Yankees’ number this season without a doubt so its hard to really believe in the Yanks as a favorite. Although, New York knows they need to put their mediocre slide to an end with a big divisional win.
In my eyes this game is a toss up and should be a lot closer to even money. If you like the Rays to continue their dominance, hammer the moneyline anywhere north of the plus side. However, even if the Rays pull off the win, I still believe that New York has a good chance to put up a fight against Richards who has 5.14 ERA on the season.
Also considering that Richards is still without a win in his two starts and hasn’t pitched more than four innings in any appearance, the Rays might be forced to go to their bullpen early. While his ERA has come down from the double digit numbers we saw after his first two appearances, there’s nothing suggesting that he’ll have a shutout-like performance like Glasnow did yesterday.
Similarly, Tanaka is coming into this game with an ERA slightly better than Richards’ at 3.48, but in his last start against Tampa, Tanaka gave up six runs in four innings off eight hits. Seeing how the Rays fared against Cole last night, they should have no problem getting at least a couple runs off of Tanaka who has been up and down all season.
As of early this afternoon, DraftKings currently has the the over/under for this game set at 9. Last night, the over of 8.5 missed by half a run despite the Yankees hitting a few homers late.
Given the inconsistency of these two starting pitchers and the fact that New York has been putting up a fight late in ball games recently, I’m backing the over in this one in the hopes that both offenses capitalize off of the average arms going to the mound.
Best Bet: Over 9 -114
(Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)